The Union Minister of State for Electronics and Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has denied reports that India may ask smartphone makers to mandate screening of operating system updates and authorise a Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) lab for testing. The reports, which were published by Reuters on Tuesday, suggested that the Indian government was considering mandating the screening of every major operating system update before it was rolled out to consumers.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Chandrasekhar stated that the reports were “plainly wrong” and that there was no such “security testing” or “crackdown” as the story suggested. He went on to say that the Indian government was committed to ensuring the privacy and security of its citizens, but that it had not taken any decision to mandate the screening of operating system updates.
The reports also suggested that the Indian government might ask smartphone makers to allow the removal of pre-installed apps. This move was seen as a way to address concerns about the pre-installed apps that come with many smartphones, which are often difficult or impossible to remove and can pose a security risk.
The Indian government has been increasingly focused on cybersecurity and data privacy in recent years, as the country has become more connected and reliant on digital services. The government has introduced several initiatives to improve cybersecurity and data protection, including the creation of a national cybersecurity strategy and the establishment of a national cybercrime coordination centre.
While the government has not yet taken any decision to mandate the screening of operating system updates, the reports have sparked concern among some in the tech industry. Critics have argued that such a move could stifle innovation and make it more difficult for smartphone makers to roll out updates quickly and efficiently.
The reports that India may ask smartphone makers to mandate screening of operating system updates and authorise a BIS lab for testing have been denied by Union Minister of State for Electronics and Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar. While the Indian government has been increasingly focused on cybersecurity and data privacy, it has not taken any decision to mandate the screening of operating system updates. As always, the tech industry will be closely watching developments in India, as the country continues to grapple with the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.